A nine-year-old schoolboy at St Paul’s Juniors in Barnes invested a few pounds into running a sponsored football dribble which made hundreds for charity.
Year four pupil Arjun Dosanjh was one of many who took part in his school’s annual ‘3×3 challenge’ to raise money for the FiSH Neighbourhood charity which helps the elderly in need.
The challenge saw about 200 boys take part over the Easter break in a school of about 450 pupils, and each of them took three pounds and over three weeks invested the money wisely to create a profit which was donated to the chosen charity.
Head of PSHE and charities Tom Taylor, 35, said: “For at least one year we will support a charity and that’s elected by boys who are in the school council.
“They have a responsibility to go out and research charities that they think will be suitable and we decide as a council which charity we think is going to best fit our parameters and is best to get involved with.”
The FiSH charity combats loneliness and isolation in older and vulnerable people living in Barnes, Mortlake and East Sheen.
Arjun created his own crowdfunding page to collect sponsorship funds and invested his £3 into printing leaflets for the football dribble which he named ‘The Great Chiswick Dribble’.
He then created and posted leaflets to a small number of neighbours to advertise his dribble.
Mr Taylor said: “I think the way he went about publicising what he was doing was lovely.
“I think Arjun is the type of kid who is passionate about anything to help other people and he likes a challenge, which is a difficult thing to ask young boys to do.”
The football dribble was held in April in Chiswick and Arjun raised £475 on the day which is all going to be donated to FiSH.
Many of Arjun’s neighbours are elderly and they all said his activity helped to build a sense of community on the street as they all rallied behind him.
Mr Taylor said: “It’s easy for young boys to fall into the trap of doing something for charity, basically asking your mum or dad for cash and then donating it.
“We want to try and get away from that and say to them that charities needs money, but actually it’s about the act of giving yourself and doing something for others.”
Year eight pupil Paul said: “It teaches the importance of the community spirit and hopefully the experience will also be fun and help pupils discover new talents or hobbies.”
Mr Taylor said: “I think it’s helped in lots of ways, I think it’s a great way for the boys to see what life is like outside the school bubble.
“It’s taught them that there are people of different ages that live in the same area and it’s exposure to different types of people living different lives, who aren’t as fortunate as a number of boys, as well as the value of money and understanding a bit of entrepreneurship.”
Year six pupil Jago said: “The challenge is a great idea as it makes you feel really good to give your spare time to make money to give to FiSH – it’s much better than playing Xbox and football in the garden.
“It also makes me appreciate that it’s not easy to earn money so it’s a good lesson to get off your gadget and make a difference.”
St. Paul’s Juniors is an independent all boys school with pupils from seven years old to A-Level.
Mr Taylor said overall the boys raised a staggering £17,000 for the charity.